How Mondelēz International is meeting its ambitious global greenhouse gas reduction goal

Enel Green Power North America
Enel Green Power North America’s Roadrunner project.

This article is sponsored by 3Degrees.

In 2015, food and beverage giant Mondelēz International set an ambitious goal to reduce its absolute greenhouse gas emissions versus a historic base year in each of its four global operating regions. The company already has made good progress through energy efficiency and other on-site solutions, but these actions alone were not enough to reach its aggressive emissions-reduction goal. It needed to invest in additional initiatives in order to close the gap.

To help guide its efforts, Mondelēz International enlisted 3Degrees to conduct an in-depth renewable energy strategy assessment and deliver a global roadmap to achieve the company’s goal, as well as support any resulting implementation work.

Challenges

Mondelēz International had outlined two important criteria.

  1. The company was interested in impact.
  2. There was a strong preference for cost-neutral or cost-positive solutions.

After an intensive assessment, 3Degrees presented Mondelēz International with the global strategy roadmap and, within it, highlighted a variety of renewable energy pathways that would meet both defined criteria. After reviewing all options, one solution clearly was best suited to meet the company’s goals: a virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) for renewable energy from a new project. 3Degrees quickly got to work to begin the next phase of implementation.

How 3Degrees helped

To kick off the implementation, we issued an RFP to find the most attractive VPPA. By the end of the response period, 48 developers had submitted proposals for a total of 126 projects. 3Degrees carefully vetted each project, which included:    

  • performing a full qualitative analysis of developer qualifications, which leveraged 3Degrees’ in-house knowledge of the renewable energy developer community;
  • creating a project evaluation scorecard to gauge each project in terms of project development risk metrics, including permitting, interconnection and financing; and
  • conducting a deep quantitative analysis to select the project that would offer Mondelēz International the best long-term value, while limiting any potential downside. 

At the end of the extensive analysis process, 3Degrees recommended Enel Green Power North America’s Roadrunner project, a new 497-megawatt solar farm in Texas, which best met Mondelēz International’s need for an impactful and cost-competitive solution. We then helped the team at Mondelēz International to navigate its broad, global executive stakeholder network to gain the necessary alignment and approvals to proceed with the project.

Results

  • Mondelēz International signed a 12-year VPPA under which the company will purchase the energy delivered to the electricity grid from a 65 MW portion of Enel Green Power North America’s Roadrunner project.
  • The VPPA is Mondelēz International’s largest renewable energy transaction at a global level and its first renewable energy PPA signed in the United States.
  • The transaction enables Mondelēz International to make substantial progress against its sustainability goals by reducing 80,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, representing 5 percent of the company’s global manufacturing emissions.
  • The VPPA will help pave the way for subsequent renewable energy procurements of any kind to help achieve Mondelēz International’s long-term sustainability goals.

As Erika Schunk Vasconcellos, Mondelēz International global environmental manager, put it: "The signing of this VPPA is a major advancement towards achieving our aggressive global emissions reduction goals. We are thrilled about this partnership with Enel Green Power North America to help bring new renewable generation online and appreciate 3Degrees’ strategic guidance and implementation support that helped make this transaction possible."